This, our most recent production, was very well received: indeed one member of the audience opined that it was the best thing the Players have done to date! Whether or not my sister was correct in her assessment, our audiences certainly enjoyed the show which was, in football parlance, ‘a game of two halves’.
The first half was a one-act play from the pen of our own technical wizard and Minchinhampton resident, Alan Vaughan.
A tragic love story set in Minchinhampton in 1918 when the Australian Flying Corps arrived in town, ‘Alice and the Great War’ – the winner of a drama competition award in 2000 – had been substantially expanded for its 2019 outing. Notable new characters included some feisty female munitions workers.
The show saw the debut of new adult actors – Charlotte Green, Sam Bennett and Katharine Hughes – and new child actors – Bea Dellow, Lark Gale, Tara Haldar, Alisha Mann and Kitty, Tess & Ned Jacobs. This was the first outing for the Players’ junior team: hopefully, we shall see more of them in the future.
The second half of the evening consisted of a selection of WW1 poetry and prose. We heard not only from famous figures like Edith Cavell, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, but also from ordinary people surviving as best they could amid the chaos of conflict.
Simply presented, with the cast clad in black and reading their lines under a single spotlight, it was a powerful piece of theatre lightened at the end with a rousing singalong of WW1 Big Hits, led by Jonathan Golding (solo voice) and Paul Auster (keyboard).
Grateful thanks to all concerned, particularly the two directors, Steve Winchester (‘Alice) and Jan Vigar (Part 2) and the technical crew and backstage helpers.